On the weekend, State Secretary of Queensland Labor Party, Anthony Chisholm, described Katter’s Australian Party as the ‘odds and sods’ of the political spectrum.
It’s obvious that these comments have been driven by a case of sour grapes. After all, the nearly 300,000 ‘odds and sods’ voters that Mr Chisholm so insulting dismissed were responsible for relegating Labor to third or fourth spot in 17 electorates. That’s right, Labor failed to even finish second across 20 per cent of Queensland.
These comments are proof that the elitist, arrogant approach of the Labor Party hierarchy, punished so heavily by voters, remains in place. The Labor Party may want to turn a new leaf but insulting the many former Labor voters who left the ALP is surely not the best way to win them back.
What Mr Chisholm really inferred was that somehow those Queenslanders who chose not to vote for Labor were somehow less worthy of participating in the electoral process than the Labor supporters.
I take great exception to that. Politics is a competition of ideas and I do not begrudge anyone for voting for any party. That is their choice.
There is no doubt that the many ‘odds and sods’ were people who want political change. They want a country that is proud of its abilities and achievements. They want to be patriotic and see this nation prosper. Mr Chisholm can continue to dismiss them to his own political peril.
Mr Chisholm also stated that Katter’s Australian Party tries to be all things to all people. For a man supposedly concerned by the threat ‘posed’ by Katter’s Australian Party to Labor he obviously misunderstands his opposition.
Katter’s Australian Party is most certainly not interested in being all things to all people. Just to make the point clear to Mr Chisholm and the Labor Party, a few examples are outlined below.
If an Australian supports asset sales then they should not vote for Katter’s Australian Party. They should continue to support Labor or the LNP. Conversely, if they want to see assets remain in state hands then they can vote for Katter’s Australian Party confident their vote will be respected.
If an Australian supports foreign workers flying into this country then they should continue to back the Labor Party or the LNP because that is what they are delivering. However, if they believe Aussies should fill Australian jobs then they should support Katter’s Australian Party because that is a key plank of its platform.
If an Australian believes that governments should continue to focus on capital cities then they will have that policy delivered by the Labor Party and the Coalition. If they want to see a government take a visionary approach to developing industry, jobs and wealth in regional Australia then they should support Katter’s Australian Party.
There are many other examples but it should be clear that Katter’s Australian Party is focused on delivering its core values and principles. Many Australians support them. If a voter does not then they have other choices.
The final barb flung by Mr Chisholm was that it was outrageous for Katter’s Australian Party to present itself as a party for working people.
Hypocrisy is the only word that springs to mind regarding this statement. Working Australians oppose asset sales. They oppose foreign workers. They oppose the loss of Australias manufacturing, tourism, retail and farming industries. So does Katter’s Australian Party.
If Mr Chisholm really wants to understand why the Labor Party finds itself in its present situation he should look no further than his own Labor colleagues.
It is the Labor Prime Minister who continually calls on the states to undertake more asset sales.
It is the Labor Treasurer who has agreed to sell Australias largest farm to a foreign interest.
It is the Labor Immigration Minister who has signed off on thousands of foreign workers for Australian mines.
In fact, if Mr Chisholm was really interested in standing up for working people then he would hand in his resignation from the Labor Party today. And it would only be then that he would truly understand why Katter’s Australian Party received the support it did at the Queensland Election because he would know, for the first time, what it means to believe in values and principles.